This week we are going to be looking at 1 John 3: 1-10. This passage has some really powerful and important words for us to hear. Today we’ll be looking at the World of the Text of this passage. 1 … Continue reading
This week we are going to be taking a deeper look at Revelation 21: 1-5. Today we’ll be looking specifically at the world of the text of this passage. If you missed my explanation of the three worlds of the text … Continue reading
Today’s reading is Luke 17: 14-31 Today’s reading has within it one of my favorite teachings of Jesus – the kingdom of God is in among you. That’s one of those powerful truths that we can really ponder. What does … Continue reading
Everything’s gonna be alright. It is. No, really it is. In this world we live in, so many are afraid. So many are worried. So many are angry. It is going to be alright. All will be well. It will. … Continue reading
Sometimes in Scripture the Lord paints a picture of what shall be. The world is not perfect. Life is not perfect. Things happen that we do not like; that we do not want. So often, each day of life, we … Continue reading
Updated – You can listen to the podcast of the sermon below by clicking here. Or you can visit St. Matthew’s website to listen to all of our podcasts. Yesterday at St. Matthew’s we celebrated All Saint’s Sunday. On this … Continue reading
In life, we are all called to something. Now, in reality, we all “do” something, but that thing that we “do” may not be our calling. What is our calling? Great question. It is different for all of us, we … Continue reading
I bet that title made you want to read this one, huh? 🙂 What’s heaven going to be like? That’s some question, huh? Today’s reading doesn’t answer that question, but it does give a glimpse at some of the questions … Continue reading
Today in Mark, we look at Chapter 12:18-27
18 Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, saying, 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. 20 There were seven brothers; the first married and, when he died, left no children; 21 and the second married the widow and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; 22 none of the seven left children. Last of all the woman herself died. 23 In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had married her.”
24 Jesus said to them, “Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.”
Once again, we see another group coming to test Jesus based off something that they didn’t even really believe. The Sadducees come asking Him a question about the resurrection when, in fact, they didn’t believe in the resurrection.
First, why didn’t they believe in the resurrection? There were lots of different divisions of the religious leaders in Jesus day, but one of the greatest divides was between that of the Sadducees and the Pharisees. They were both religious leaders, but the Sadducees were more associated with the Temple and thePharisees were more associated with local synagogues.
There was also a disagreement among them over the authority of their scripture. The Pharisees believed that all the Old Testament was inspired and had authority while the Sadducees only believed that to be true of the first five books of the Old Testament, the Torah, the Books of Moses.
And that’s why they didn’t believe in the resurrection, because nowhere in their belief system did they find the resurrection mentioned. Now it’s found in other places in the Old Testament (and remember, as Christians, we are going to read the Old Testament in a different way, we see evidence of resurrection and eternity there).
Ok, in this text a couple of things to be aware of. First, the business of brother’s marrying the widow of their brother. That was the custom of the day, so they were trying to carry for this accepted religious practice of the day into eternity.
In this Jesus says, there will not be marriage in heaven. So, what is heaven like? No one really knows, Scripture doesn’t really say, other than to say it will be amazing. A few things here. First, notice that Jesus DID NOT say that we will be angels in heaven. He said we will be LIKE, but will NOT BE. Angels are created beings, just like humans are created being. We do not become angels in heaven. That’s common cultural misconceptions. Jesus says that will be BE LIKE angels, not BECOME them. Scripture does not say that we become angels when we did.
So, what does it mean to be like angels? Good question. Not really sure. It is understood to mean that we are part of God’s heavenly court. We have access to God. We are part of the group that worships God. We are accepted fully into God’s kingdom. Like the angels. Paul attempts to answer this question of what it will be like 1 Corinthians 15 and the best way that he can describe it is “spiritual bodies.” We don’t know what that means other than it will a body and it will be different.
Ok, another question this raises is will we know each other in heaven? My belief is yes, based off other passages. After death, Saul recognized Samuel. The Disciples recognized Moses and Elijah. I believe that we will know each other in heaven. It will be different; it will not be exactly like here on earth. But in some way, we will know each other.
Remember from this passage, as well as yesterday’s to think about how we approach Jesus. In both of these passages, people did not come to Jesus for wisdom or to have legitimate questions answered, they came to test Him and trip Him. They weren’t really seeking His face.
Let’s not make that same mistake. Let’s seek His face. And in doing that we will find all we need.
Wednesday we’ll look at Mark 12:28-34.
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One of the things that we see with faith, is that things aren’t always what they seem. What looks to be good sometimes isn’t. Think temptation. It looks so good, and well, tempting, but in the end is a very bad thing.
And likewise, things that look to be awful and terrible can, in the end, turn out to be very good things. It’s those things that can cause us to grow and become more faithful.
It’s in the times of trial that our faith becomes real to us, and we better become the people that God needs us, created us to become.
Things aren’t always what they seem. Listen to what Jesus tells us in Luke 6: 20-26. These are words that you’ve heard before, but listen like you’ve never heard them:
And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.
Nothing here that He promised us or told us would be “good” is good, in our eyes. Jesus tells us that we are blessed when we are poor in spirit. When we are hungry. When we weep. When we are hated.
Why? Why would these awful things make us feel as though we are blessed? Why would these terrible things seem good?
Because great is our reward in heaven.
This world is not our home. This world is not our home. This world is not home.
Hear me friends, this world is not our home.
We were made for something better. We were made for something that is truly life. Something that can’t be taken or corrupted or destroyed.
We are made for our true home. Remember that today. This world is not your home. You are made for a better place.
Keep your eye on that. Live today. Laugh. Love. Serve. Enjoy every sacred moment that God gives you. Enjoy it all. Drink it all in.
But this world is not your home. Don’t be satisfied with the earthly, when the eternal awaits.
Remember, when things are tough, this too shall pass. Something better is coming. Hold on. Don’t give up. Keep the faith.
You were made for more than this. And blessed will we be when we remember that.
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